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Main Title:
Robert J. Markell Collection

Type of Material: Production material for stage, film and television, including: sketches; set designs; photographs; and multimedia, ca. 1940s-1980s. Formats represented: film; framed gouache artwork; original production designs issued on tissue, cardstock, and paper; professional studio photographs; film and television scripts; and correspondence.
Personal Name: Robert J. Markell
Collection ID: Collection 404
Creator: Robert J. Markell
Extent: 15 cubic ft.
Span Dates: 1940s-1980s

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Title
Robert J. Markell Collection
Collection 404

Description

A collection of manuscript and published material that documents the prolific career of art director, set designer, producer, and five-time Emmy Award winner Robert J. Markell (b. 1924). The archive is comprised of production material for stage, film and television, including: sketches; set designs; photographs; and multimedia, ca. 1940s-1980s. Formats represented are: film; framed gouache artwork; original production designs issued on tissue, cardstock, and paper; professional studio photographs; film and television scripts; and correspondence.
15 cubic ft.
Organization: Sub-group and series arrangement by material type and format. 

Collection processed by Kristen J. Nyitray and F. Berenice Baez-Revueltas, May 2009. Media migration by Jason Torre. Preservation treatments to paper and art objects by Josephine Castronuovo. Updated December 2014. 

Introduction and Biographical Information 
Scope and Content Note 
Access and Copyright 
Sub-group and Series Outline 

Inventory 
Production Credits
Awards
Art Credits

Introduction

Robert Markell is a five-time Emmy Award winning producer, designer, network executive, and artist whose career spans over 50 years. As a producer and art director, he was integral to the production of dozens of theatrical performances, classic films, and television shows, including the first televised production of The Nutcracker (staged by George Balanchine on Seven Lively Arts, 1957), 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda (1957), The Defenders (1961-1965), Playhouse 90 (1956-1961), and N.Y.P.D (1967-1969). 

Mr. Markell was born in 1924 and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Although he always possessed a passion for art and design, his parents encouraged him to further his education in the field of civil engineering. After earning his degree from Northeastern University in Boston, he relocated to Bethpage, New York, where he was employed by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation as a designer of airplanes. He subsequently pursued a position with the American National Theater Association as an assistant set designer for summer stock in the Catskills (New York). When the chief set designer failed to report for work, Mr. Markell assumed the duties. Although primarily a self-taught artist, he studied that summer with stage manager Phil Stein, who mentored him in the intricacies of set design. In 1949, he was offered his first position in television, when CBS hired him to work on live broadcast shows. This marked the beginning of his career in television and film. 

In 1954, Robert Markell received the first of five Emmy Awards for his set design work on the television series You Are There. He also became a successful producer with the series Playhouse 90 and The Defenders. Many successful actors and artists have worked with Mr. Markell, including Noel Coward, Mary Martin, Jackie Gleason, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, George Balanchine, Dustin Hoffman, E.G. Marshall, Robert Reed, William Shatner, Jack Warden, Al Pacino, James Earl Jones, and Harvey Keitel. Complete lists of Robert Markell'sproduction credits and awards have been compiled and are included in this guide.

Today, Mr. Markell is full-time print-maker and painter; his works are represented in private and public collections throughout the United States. His art credits appear at the conclusion of this finding aid. 

The Robert Markell Collection was formally donated to Stony Brook University in September of 2006.

Scope and Content Note 

The Robert Markell Collection consists of fifteen cubic feet of production material for stage, film, and television and includes: sketches; set designs; photographs; and multimedia, circa 1940s-1980s. Formats represented in the archive are: 16mm films, reel-to-reel recordings, and VHS tapes; framed gouache artwork; original production designs issued on tissue, cardstock, and paper; professional studio photographs of films; scripts; and correspondence.

Robert Markell's works are also represented in the archives of The Museum of Radio and Television, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn College, and Northeastern University in Boston.

Access 

The entire collection is open and accessible to researchers with the exception of the films that are in the process of receiving preservation treatment. Please contact Special Collections for all inquiries regarding this archive. 

Rights and Permissions 

Stony Brook University Libraries' consent as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.   

Sub-group and Series Outline

Sub-group 1: Robert Markell: Biographical Material and Correspondence 

Sub-group 2: Production Material for Stage, Film and Television 

Sub-group 3: Set Designs and Sketches 
(note: also see map file

Sub-group 4: Framed Set Designs and Sketches 
(note: also see map file

Sub-group 5: Photographs

Sub-group 6: Videos and Films 
Series 1 - ¾ Inch U-matic Videocassettes
Series 2 - VHS Tapes and DVDs 
Sub-series 1 – Film and Television Productions
Sub-series 2 - Interviews
Series 3 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 7 ½ Inch Reels
Series 4 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 12 Inch Reels (16mm)
Series 5 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 13 ½ Inch Reels (16 mm)

INVENTORY

Sub-group 1 - Robert Markell: Biographical Material and Correspondence

Box 1

Robert Markell – Correspondence
Robert Markell – Photographs
Robert Markell – Publicity and Clippings

Sub-group 2 – Production Material for Stage, Film and Television

At Mother's Request - Budget
Cop's Wife, The by Barney Cohen - Script
Creative Artist Agency (CAA) - Contracts
Defenders, The – Opening Credits
Deuce, The - Budget
Dominoes by Philip Rosenberg – Production
Earthquake - Production
Eye for an Eye, An – Cast
Eye for an Eye, An - Contract

Box 2

Eye for an Eye, An – Budget
Eye for an Eye, An – Contacts
Eye for an Eye, An – Hot Cost
Eye for an Eye, An – Locations
Eye for an Eye, An – Miscellaneous
Eye for an Eye, An – Movement List
Eye for an Eye, An – Post-Budget Summary
Eye for an Eye, An – Production Budget
Eye for an Eye, An – Production Memos
Eye for an Eye, An – Production Report
Eye for an Eye, An – Publicity
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Execution)
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Footage)
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Headlines)
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Movies)
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Music)
Eye for an Eye, An – Research (Wardrobe)
Eye for an Eye, An – Staff and Crew
Eye for an Eye, An – Status Report
Eye for an Eye, An – Stock Footage
Eye for an Eye, An – Timesheets
Eye for an Eye, An – Timing

Box 3

Flight to Freedom by Philip Rosenberg – Script
Great Mysteries of the World by Robert Markell – Script
Gumshoe and the Kid by Joseph Schrier – Script
Horror Within, The by George Baxt – Script
Instant Forever by Philip Rosenberg – Script
Juror, The by Ted Tally – Script
Marden Productions – Reports
Obsessed by Gwen Bagni-Dubov– Script
Pawn, The by Philip Rosenberg – Script
Powerful Attachment by Edward Adler – Script
Queer Kind of Death, A by George Baxt – Script
RMP – 627 – Script
Skyscraper – Production
Slow Justice by Philip Rosenberg – Script
Sonny Bones – Script
Sweet Dreams by Colleen Oscarson and Matt Gatson – Script

Box 4

Tin Wife - Script
12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose – Script
Victims – Script
Will You Meet Me in the City? by Harry F. Kwartler – Script
Winter Storm by Edward Adler – Script

Sub-group 3 - Set Designs and Sketches (note: also see map file)

Box 5

Equity Library Show
The Good Fairy
The Guardsman
Quiz Show (never produced)
Winter Dreams
Dancing on the Ceiling
Danger
The Right Man
Stand Hands
Studio 1
Together with Music

Box 6

Aladdin
Ed Sullivan Show
Hamlet
Nutcracker, The 
Our Hearts
Phil Silvers Pontiac Show
Private Hicks
Starlight Theater
Suspense
You Are There

Sub-group 4 – Framed Set Designs and Sketches (note: also see map file)

Box 7

Ernest Hemingway – The Battler
Ernest Hemingway – Light of the World

Box 8

Ernest Hemingway – Light of the World
Ernest Hemingway – End of Something

Box 9

Nutcracker, The (2)

Box 10

Nutcracker, The
Winter Dreams – Dancing Couple

Box 11

Aladdin - Princess Pavilion (2)

Box 12

Guardsmen, The
Hamlet
Time of Your Life

Box 13

William Saroyan – Time of Your Life (Playhouse 90)
Noel Coward and Mary Martin – Together with Music

Box 14

Nutcracker, The (Playhouse 90)
Phil Silvers on Broadway

Box 15

Joseph Conrad – Victory
Nutcracker, The

Sub-group 5 - Photographs

Box 16

Aladdin
Best of Broadway
Danger
Eagle Has Two Heads, The
Ed Sullivan
Good Fairy, The
Guardsman, The
Hamlet
Nutcracker, The
Phil Silvers on Broadway
Pilot Project (never aired)
Playhouse 90 
Seven Lively Arts
Show Off, The
Studio 1

Box 17

This Happy Breed
12 Angry Men
Westinghouse Summer Theater (Studio 1)
You Are There

Sub-group 6 – Videos and Films

Series 1 - ¾ Inch U-matic Videocassettes

Ceremony of Innocence - Part I of II (undated)
Ceremony of Innocence - Part I of II (undated)
Ceremony of Innocence - Reel 1 (10/28/1974)
Ceremony of Innocence - Reel 2 (10/28/1974)

Box 18

Comedy Zone – Episode 1 (8/8/1984)
The Dark Side – Tomorrow Entertainment (2/27/1973)
If Tomorrow Comes (undated)
N.Y.P.D. (6/19/1982)
N.Y.P.D. (undated)
No Place for a Happy Man – Part I (11/21/1975)

Box 19

No Place for a Happy Man – Part II (11/21/1975)
Old Fashioned Song, An (8/1/1984)
Private Eye – Reels 1, 2, 3 (6/1/1980)
Private Eye – Reels 4, 5, 6 (6/1/1980)
Tenth Level – Part II (7/16/1976)
Tenth Level – Reel 1 (10/6/1977)

Box 20

Tenth Level – Part I (7/27/1977)
Tenth Level – Part II (7/27/1977)
Tenth Level - No.1 (undated)
Tenth Level - No.2 (undated)
Tenth Level – Act I, II, III, IV (undated)
Tenth Level – Act I, II (undated)

Box 21

Tenth Level – Act III, IV, V (undated)
Trap of Solid Gold, The – Tomorrow Entertainment (7/17/1973)
Trap of Solid Gold, The (undated)
Twenty Shades of Pink, circa 1975 – Acts 1, 2 (note on tape: "Reel 1") 
Twenty Shades of Pink, circa 1975 – Acts 3, 4, 5 (note on tape: "Reel 2 ") 
You Can't Go Home Again – Part 1, 2 (6/22/1979)

Box 22

You Can't Go Home Again – Reel 2 of 2 (6/22/1979)
You Can't Go Home Again – Reel 2 of 2 (6/22/1979)
You Can't Go Home Again – Reel 2 of 2 (1/24/1979)

Series 2 - VHS Tapes and DVDs

Sub-series 1 – Film and Television Productions

At Mother's Request (12/4/1986)
At Mother's Request – Part I (12/30/1986)
At Mother's Request – Part II (12/31/1986)

Box 23

At Mother's Request – Part I (06/13/1988)
At Mother's Request – Part II (06/13/1988)
Blue and the Grey, The – Part I and II (undated)
Blue and the Grey, The – Part III (undated)
Ceremony of Innocence (undated)
Chiefs (undated)
Danger – Collection #2 (undated)
Eye for and Eye – Dailies, Complete Day #14 (07/08/1991)
Eye for and Eye – Director's Cut (08/14/1991)
Eye for and Eye – Director's Cut / Producer's Notes (08/16/1991)
Eye for and Eye – Network Run (08/21/1991)
If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 40 to 46 (10/26/1985)

Box 24

If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 40 to 46 (10/26/1985) (copy)
If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 133 to 135 (10/30/1985)
If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 133 to 135 (10/30/1985) (copy)
If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 200 to 203 (11/21/1985)
If Tomorrow Comes – Reels 200 to 203 (11/21/1985) (copy)
If Tomorrow Comes – Episode Three, Reels 1 to 10 (1/7/1986)
If Tomorrow Comes – Main Title Sequence (2/14/1986)
If Tomorrow Comes – Part I (3/25/1986)
If Tomorrow Comes – Part II (3/25/1986)
If Tomorrow Comes – Part III (3/25/1986)
Master of the Game – Episode One (undated)
Master of the Game – Episode Two ( undated)

Box 25

Master of the Game – Episode Two (undated)
Master of the Game – Episode Three (undated)
Office Life – Chicago, Summer 1991
Rumor of War, A (undated)
Rumor of War, A (undated)
Scarlet Pimpernel, The (undated)
Sound of Jazz, The – Count Basie, Billy Holiday and Thelonious Monk
The Tenth Level (DVD) 
Together with Music (1957)
12 Angry Men (undated) 

Box 26 

Twenty Shades of Pink (undated)
Untitled - Bloodknot Final Version (6/22/1989)
Various, Tape 1 - The Dark Side; Firewood Mac (undated); Tenth Level (parts 1, 2); Trap of Gold; You Can't Go Home
Various, Tape 2 - The Dark Side; The Trap of Solid Gold; You Can't Go Home
Various, Twenty Shades of Pink (parts 1-5) (undated); You Can't go Home (2 parts)
Will There Really Be a Morning
N.Y.P.D. – Nine Episodes (undated)
N.Y.P.D. – Episode Three (undated)
N.Y.P.D. – David Pressman (undated)

N.Y.P.D.: DVD Titles by Disc

Curse to Oblivion
Deadly Circle of Violence
Murder for Infinity
The Bombers
The Car Thief
The Embassy
The Joshuas
The Red-Headed Pigeon
The Wire Finish
The Witness
Woman Screams

Series 2 - VHS Tapes

Sub-series 2 - Interviews

American Television – Bob Markell Interview (4/18/1998) (1-6 of 10 tapes)

Box 27

American Television – Bob Markell Interview (4/18/1998) (7-10 of 10 tapes)
American Television (undated)
Artists Talks – Bob Markell (undated)
Bicentennial Minutes – Various (1976)
Bicentennial Minutes – Various (1976)
Bob Markell Studio Tour with Gines Serran-Pagan (4/3/2001)
Bob Markell Studio Tour - Tapes 3, 4
Shelter Island Public Library – "A Life in TV" Bob Markell (3/11/2005)
Television History Interview (undated) (copy)

Series 3 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 7 ½ Inch Reels

Box 28

The Dain Curse (1977 – 1978)
The Dain Curse, Tape I (undated)

Box 29

The Dain Curse, Tape II (undated)
You Can't Go Home Again (10/24/1978)

Box 30

Marni (June, 1955; June, 1956; 1957)

Box 31

Joan as a Child/Saber Force as to Waterford

Series 4 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 12 Inch Reels (16mm)

Box 32

Defender 97, Part I
Defender 97 Reel II

Box 33

Defender, Part I (Non-violent)
Defender, Part II (Non-violent)

Series 5 - Reel-to-Reel Recordings, 13 ½ Inch Reels (16 mm)

Boxes 34 36

(unidentified; in-process) 

Map Files

Framed set designs and sketches 

1) Nutcracker, The – Russian Forest
2) Nutcracker, The
3) Aladdin

Studio blueprints: sketch of set design/elevation for The Nutcracker

Production Credits

Producer, "Shadow of a Killer" NBC Productions - NBC Movie of the Week, 1991
Producer, "Settling the Score" - ITC Productions - NBC Movie of the Week, 1989
Executive Producer, The Vista Organization, 1986-1989
Executive Producer, "At Mother's Request" - Mini Series, 4 hours; CBS for Vista Organization, 1987
Executive Producer,"Sidney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes" - Mini-Series, 7 hours, CBS, 1986
Vice President, Mini-Series, CBS-TV, 1976-1985
Executive Producer, Dramatic Programs, CBS-TV, 1974-1976
CBS Executive Producer, Mini-Series, Dashiell's Hammett's "The Dain Curse"
Martin Poll Producer, 1977
CBS Executive Producer, GE Theater, "20 Shades of Pink," with Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, 1975
CBS Executive Producer, "Tenth Level," 90 minute dramatic special program with William Shattner, 1975
CBS Executive Producer, "Bicentennial Minutes," 1974-1977
CBS Executive Producer, Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again," 1976
Executive Producer, Tomorrow Entertainment, N.Y., 1972-1974
Producer, "Nicky's World," Pilot film, CBS, 1973
Producer, "Dark Side," NBC (dramatic show), 1972
Producer, Ron Ribman's "Ceremonies of Innocence" with Richard Kiley, 1971
Producer, CBS Friday Nite Movie, "Murder Once Removed," 1970
Producer, CBS Friday Nite Movie, "The Tattered Web," 1970
Producer, ABC Movie, "Dr. Cook's Garden," with Bing Crosby for Paramount, 1970
Producer, Motion Picture, "Holocaust" (National Showmanship, Inc.), 1970
Producer, "Hunter," Pilot Film, ABC, 1969-1970
Producer, "N.Y.P.D.," 16mm film, 50 shows on ABC Network, Jack Warden, 1967-1969
Producer, "Trap of Solid Gold" (TV Special-Stage 67) with Cliff Robertson, Dina Merrill, and Dustin Hoffman, 1967
Producer, Pilot Film "Hawk" with Burt Reynolds, ABC, 1967
Producer, "Defenders," CBS, 1962-1965
Associate Producer, "Defenders," CBS, 1960- 1961
Associate Producer, "Playhouse 90" , 1959-1960
Art Director, Reginald Rose's "12 Angry Men" (theatrical film) with Henry Fonda, United Artists, 1957
Art Director (Set Design), CBS, 1949-1959, "Danger," "You Are There," "Studio One," "Playhouse 90," "Old Vic's "Hamlet, "Cole Porter's "Aladdin," Noel Coward's "Together With Music" (with Mary Martin), and "This Happy Breed"
John Houseman's "Seven Lively Arts" series
Robert Herridge's Westinghouse Summer Theater

Awards

Emmy Award Nomination - Executive Producer, "Bicentennial Minutes," 1976-1977
Emmy Award - Executive Producer, "Bicentennial Minutes," 1975-1976
Emmy Award Nomination - Producer, "Defenders," 1964
Emmy Award - Producer, "Defenders," 1963
Emmy Award - Producer, "Defenders," 1962
Emmy Award – Associate Producer, "Defenders," 1961
Emmy Award Nomination - Art Director, "Hamlet," 1959
Emmy Award - Art Director, "You Are There," 1954
Christopher Award - "Bicentennial Minutes," 1976
Motion Picture Daily Award - N.Y.P.D., 1969
TV Daily Award - "Defenders," 1963-1964
Hollywood Foreign Press Award – "Defenders," 1963 (Golden Globe)
Screen Producers Guild Award - "Defenders," 1963
Screen Producers Guild Award - "Defenders," 1962

Art Credits

Robert Markell is now print-making and painting full-time. His works are represented in many collections in United States. His art has been exhibited by the following galleries: 

The Nicholas Roerich Museum in Manhattan (solo show) 
The Shelter Island Gallery (solo show)
Brooklyn Museum (graphic arts, solo show)
Water Mill Museum
Lizan-Topps (Long Island Landscapes), 1994
Sundance Gallery, Bridgehampton, 1996 (special award)
Millenium Art Gallery (landscapes and set designs), 1996
Directors Choice, 1997, 1998, 1999
National Academy of Design Manhattan, Summer Juried Show, 1996
Pentad Group Show, Bridgehampton, 1999
New Suffolk Gallery, 2000
Gallery Pelar, 1999,2000
Printmakers Ink, 1999, 2000, 2001
Whitney Art Works, 2000
Red Barn Atelier, 2001
Ashawagh Hall Group shows, November 2001, June 2003, September 2008
Printmakers Ink - Aspects of Erotica, 2002
Boltax Gallery, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007
Blue Door Gallery, 2003, 2004
East End Arts Council juried shows, 2004,2005,2006
Gallery Nouvelle, 2004
Box Art exhibit (East End Hospice), 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Jade Nectar East Gallery, 2005
Invitational Springs Improvement Society at Ashawagh, 2006, 2007
Wallace Gallery, Monotypes, 2006
DeCordova Studio and Gallery, 2006, 2008
Gallery 225 at 225 West 14th Street, NY, NY, 2007
Wish Rock Gallery, Shelter Island, 2008

 

 

 


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